Thursday, June 7, 2012

BP in Pollution News Again

BP Products North America Inc. has agreed to install $400 million in new air pollution controls at its northwestern Indiana oil refinery and pay an $8 million fine under a deal with the government and environmental groups. Fox News

In a move that promises cleaner air throughout the Chicago area, BP agreed to spend more than $400 million to settle legal complaints about chronic pollution problems at the oil company’s sprawling refinery in northwest Indiana. Boston Herald

Federal regulators had accused BP of violating a 2001 legal agreement over previous pollution problems at the Whiting plant and cited the company for repeatedly exceeding emissions limits on flares that shoot out harmful chemicals during frequent malfunctions.

Changes outlined in the consent decree, filed in U.S. District Court in Hammond, require the oil company to dramatically reduce flaring by capturing most of the pressurized gases, and to operate the flares more efficiently when they are needed. Chicago Tribune

Back in 2008 when we began this lawsuit under the Clean Air Act, BP claimed that its planned multi-billion dollar expansion of the Whiting Refinery to process dirty tar sands crude oil would cut the refinery’s air pollution. But according to our team of engineering and legal experts, BP left out huge sources of pollution within the refinery and used faulty calculations for others. If the company had done its pollution accounting properly, it would have shown major increases in air pollution and triggered the legal obligation to use state-of-the-art controls.

Four years later we’ve come full circle, with the announced settlement requiring BP to better control its pollution by installing $400 million in air pollution controls. These controls will reduce pollution from the refinery by 4,000 tons each year. National Resources Defense Council

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